Family of the Year, Woman of Distinction named in Fortuna

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Women in Business Bootcamp was the theme, complete with camouflage napkins, at the 16th Annual National Business Women's Luncheon, held October 16th at the River Lodge, and sponsored by the Fortuna Kiwanis Club.

Carlotta residents Clint and Emily Duey and their three children were introduced as the 2013 Family of the Year.

Clint Duey is the Fortuna High School principal, a position he has held for two years. Prior to that, he was vice principal for two years. He is the Fortuna High School Football and Track programs coach, something he has been doing for the past 13 seasons. He began his career at Fortuna High School as a teacher 11 years ago.

"Clint's emphasis has been to make it a positive experience for the students who attend there (Fortuna High)," Sally Conley said in announcing the award at last week's luncheon. "He has dedicated so many hours to this endeavor, by helping get school bonds passed, bringing the WIN program to Fortuna High, ... being part of the homecoming events, and so much more."

Emily Duey currently works at Stephanie's Side Street Salon, and has dedicated many volunteer hours to local youth. She is currently the Eel River Valley Youth Football president, and has been involved with that group as a cheerleading coach, cheer coordinator, and fundraising coordinator.

She has also served as PTO President for the Cuddeback School District, as well as room aide and cheerleading coach.

Emily graduated from College of the Redwoods in 1996 with a paralegal degree, and from Fredrick & Charles Beauty College in 2002. Reacting to being named Family of the year, Emily said, "We feel so very honored to be chosen."

She added, "thank you for making this day very special."

The Duey's children are 14-year-old Haylee, a freshman at Fortuna Union High School; 10-year-old Alex, a 5th grader at Cuddeback School; and 8-year-old Chris, a 2nd grader at Cuddeback School.

Haylee is a cheerleader for the Fortuna High School JV football team, and a cheer instructor for the Eel River Valley Youth Football organization. She was a cheerleader at Cuddeback School for two years, a peer mediator, and was Salutatorian for her 8th grade class in June of this year. She has been involved in cheerleading since she was 5 years old.

For the last three years, Alex has played for the Eel River Valley Youth Football League. He has also been involved in wrestling at Cuddeback School for the last two years, and has also played Pee Wee basketball.

Chris, the youngest member of the Duey family, has also been involved for the past two years in the wrestling program at Cuddeback School. He has also participated in running cross country since 2011.

Sue Long was announced as the 2013 Woman of Distinction at the National Business Women's Luncheon, and she was completely surprised.

"I am so honored," she said, "and so thankful to be part of this amazing community. I am so proud to call Fortuna home."

Long is currently a member of the Fortuna City Council, coaches youth city league basketball, chairman of the BMX Bike Park Committee, involved in planning the annual Fourth of July festival in Newburg park, and serves on the Hops in Humboldt Board, to name just a few of her activities.

Long grew up in Fortuna, attended Toddy Thomas School, and graduated from Fortuna Union High School.

"Her heart and passion for Fortuna ranges from supporting local sports, to family activities, to civic duties, and her commitment to her very busy, demanding job for over 25 years here in Fortuna," said Becky Giacomini as she announced the award.

The keynote speaker was Fortuna Chamber of Commerce CEO Erin Dun. She talked about the insights she gained from talking to a number of business owners, which include humility without being a "doormat," collaboration, and passion.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Sally Conley (at podium) introduced the Duey family, Clint and Emiliy, and children Haylee, Alex, and Chris, as the 2013 Family of the Year by the Fortuna Kiwanis Club.